National Family Health and Fitness Day is held annually on the last Saturday of September and was created to encourage families to embrace physical activity together. Celebrating, though, can and should go beyond hauling your entire clan to the gym.
“When planning family activities around movement it is important to make fun the overriding factor,” says Gregory Florez, the senior adviser on workplace leadership and vitality for the American Council on Exercise. “In fact, don’t even use the word exercise. Think of using games, competitions, etc.” Florez said this is especially important when you have a family that includes children and teens. “If it isn’t fun, it won’t happen,” he adds.
Before you decide on how you and your family will celebrate, Florez suggests considering a few different factors.
• Let each member of the family pick an activity —no matter how zany it may be. Movement is movement!
• Don’t discourage your kids in any way with their picks unless they are truly dangerous.
• If one activity doesn’t work (resonate with the family) simply choose another one.
Here are a few fun ideas:
1. Squirt gun wars
2. “Slip-n-slide contests”
3. The old favorites — “kick the can,” “capture the flag,” etc.
5. Flag or touch football
6. If you have access to a swimming pool, “Marco Polo” and other water games.
7. A hiking treasure hunt (pick odd shaped rocks, roots, beautiful flowers, etc.)
8. Frisbee football